Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Wednesday, 23 November 2022 17:26

Should I hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

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Anyone can be charged with a criminal offence. It can happen unexpectedly and suddenly. A night out with friends can end in someone getting punched, or a temporary domestic violence order can lead to a string of breach allegations. Sometimes, a moment of inattention while driving can lead to catastrophic consequences. In any of these cases of more, you are suddenly in a situation where expert advice is critical.

 

Can a Criminal Lawyer Help Me?

Lawyers are professionals. They learn for years in university, then undertake a practical legal training course, then undergo at least two years of supervision as a junior lawyer before being able to manage cases of their own. All this gathered knowledge and experience is intended to prepare the lawyer to professionally represent the interests of his or her clients.

If you are defending a criminal charge, what are your interests? To have the charges dropped, to successfully defend the charges in court, or get the most lenient possible penalty after a plea of guilty.

So, how can a lawyer help you with this? The legal system is complex, and it is very hard for someone untrained to properly navigate it. The chance of you getting the best possible outcome on your own is very low.

 

What does a Criminal Lawyer do?

Analyse your case

Understand your situation. Find out exactly what you are charged with and the probable evidence to support each charge. Examine your criminal or traffic history (if any) and form a strategy for dealing with that in court. Take your detailed instructions about the charges to see if you have been correctly charged and if there are defences available.

Are you charged with assaulting someone at a licenced venue? Perhaps the full story is the person was assaulted by you, but only because he hit you first and you retaliated. In that case, the defences of self-defence and provocation could be explored.

What if you are charged with breaching a domestic violence order? Maybe you legitimately contacted the other party to make child arrangements, and you can prove this by producing text messages.

Maybe the prosecution simply cannot prove the charge. For example, have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol because police breathalysed you near, but not inside, your car? Then maybe you could argue that you got intoxication after you arrived at the location.

All these options and possibilities might be explored by a lawyer, but you will simply not have the technical knowledge or experience to do that yourself.

 

Negotiate with the prosecution

We at Clarity Law have a great track record for successfully negotiation with the prosecutors. Did you know it is possible, for the right case, to get charges dropped or downgraded?

For example, I recently persuaded the prosecutors to downgrade a charge of dangerous driving to a charge of careless driving. This was a massive deal for the client because dangerous driving has a mandatory minimum 6 months licence disqualification, whereas careless driving has no mandatory minimum. The client was a truck driver, so thanks to our negotiations he was able to keep his livelihood.

Another example is where I persuaded the prosecution, through careful analysis of body-worn footage, family law orders and text messages, to drop a charge of breaching a domestic violence order. That kind of outcome does not come around too often, I can tell you!

Sometimes, we can negotiate the “facts” of the charge to something more favourable. For example, I once had a case where the client was accused of a serious assault by poking a 60 year-old in the stomach with his finger, then spear tackling him to the ground. Those facts were amended to only reflect the poking to the stomach, which of course sounded a lot better for the client in court!

 

Represent you in Court

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people turn up to court with no plan at all, and end up representing themselves, or, at best, getting a busy and time-short duty lawyer to do it. In my experience, most people are not particularly good advocates for themselves, and if they say the right things in court, it is more good luck than good planning.

If you engage an experienced lawyer ahead of time, then we are able form a strategy, gather the documents that will help you (such as character references) and say (or not say) just the right things to get you a favourable outcome.

 

Won’t the Outcome be the same if I just get a Duty Lawyer or Represent Myself?

No, it really won’t. Quality representation can make a massive difference to the outcome of your case. Do you not want a conviction? We know the laws and cases to make that argument. Do you want to minimise the penalty? Then we know the right submissions to make.

Another thing which is very important is we know the judges and magistrates. For better or worse, this makes a big difference to the outcome. For example, I recently represented a client for a middle-range drink driving offence, but the blood-alcohol content reading was right at the top of the middle-range. Most of the time, it would be 5 – 6 months licence disqualification, but because I knew it was a new magistrate, I thought I would have a shot at getting the minimum disqualification for that offence, which is 3 months. It worked. The prosecutor looked stunned, and the client overjoyed as we left the court.

We are aware of another magistrate who will not grant work licences if the defendant has not completed the QTOP program. This has led to many a disappointed self-represented person who has had his or her work licence application rejected for that reason alone.

 

 Conclusion

Being charged with a criminal offence is a big deal. The outcome can have lasting consequences for your future. We at Clarity Law all have considerable experience in criminal and traffic law. We also know our fees are reasonable compared to our competitors. If you want competent, responsive and experienced representation for a matter, give us a call or email for a free consultation. We are confident you will not regret using Clarity Law for your case.

 

How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further obligation free information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
  3. Book a time for us to call you
  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Other Areas of Law

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Read 314 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 16:54
Jacob Pruden

Jacob is a former barrister and now criminal defence lawyer with over 8 years experience appearing in courts throughout South East Queensland representing clients charged with criminal offences.